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Maternal trait anxiety, emotional distress, and salivary cortisol in pregnancy

Pluess, Michael and Bolten, Margarete and Pirke, Karl-Martin and Hellhammer, Dirk (2010) Maternal trait anxiety, emotional distress, and salivary cortisol in pregnancy. Biological Psychology 83 (3), pp. 169-175. ISSN 0301-0511.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2009.12.005

Abstract

Animal models suggest that stress-induced hormonal changes in the mother during pregnancy lead to enduring changes in the fetus and empirical links between prenatal maternal stress and negative child development have been discerned repeatedly in human studies. But the role of heritable personality traits has received little attention in the latter work. The goal of the current study was to investigate the relationship between maternal personality, psychological measures of maternal distress and maternal salivary cortisol during pregnancy. Maternal reports of personality (16 PF) and stress-related psychological measures (depression, pregnancy-related anxiety, perceived stress, negative life events) as well as salivary cortisol samples of 66 healthy pregnant women were collected in early and late pregnancy. Maternal trait anxiety proved related to all stress-related psychological measures and high anxiety predicted low baseline cortisol awakening levels in early pregnancy. Maternal trait anxiety is related to both psychological and biological stress measures during pregnancy.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Prenatal stress, pregnancy, personality, neuroticism, salivary cortisol
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2011 14:13
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:20
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3258

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